DAVAO CITY – Partylist lawmakers on Monday called for the immediate moratorium on the construction and expansion of coal-fired power plants in the country following the Paris Agreement.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the government should “walk the talk” and revoke all contracts for the construction of coal-fired power plants.
Bayan Muna and the other members of the Makabayan Bloc filed in February 2014 House Resolution 787 calling for the immediate moratorium and expansion of all coal-fired power plant projects. The resolution is still pending in the House Committee on Energy.
Colmenares said the moratorium on coal is urgent as the “energy resource accounts for a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and considered one of the largest contributors to climate change and global warming.”
“Coal, besides being the dirtiest energy resource, causes irreparable damage to health and the environment. It is a brazen hypocrisy for President Aquino to speak before the world about climate justice when coal plants are defiling his country back home,” Colmenares added.
He said 14 coal-fired power plants are operating in the country today, accounting for 37 percent of the total power generation mix, while at least 18 coal plant construction and expansion are in the pipeline.
Coal plants could produce an estimated 60 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Fellow Bayan Muna representative Carlos Isagani Zarate added that “meaningful climate response from the government means revoking all permits of environmentally-degrading projects, not only of coal plants, but also of large-scale mining.”
“We demand no less than the cancellation of mining permits, and the contracts for coal power projects and big plantations. Otherwise, President Aquino’s rhetoric during the Paris talks will remain just that: an empty boast,” Zarate said. (davaotoday.com)